The Terrors of a Totalitarian Government Presented in George Orwell's 1984

Topics: Nineteen Eighty-Four, Leon Trotsky, Communism Pages: 3 (1038 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The terrors of a totalitarian government presented in George Orwell's 1984 apply not only to the Party, but also to the Stalinist Russia of the 1930's. Frightening similarities exist between these two bodies which both started out as forms of government, and then mutated into life-controlling political organizations which "subordinated all institutions and classes under one supreme power" (Buckler 924). Orwell shows how such a system can impose its will on the people through manipulation of media, constant supervision as aided by technology, and the threat of pain, both physical and mental. Orwell also shows how the state has more subtle methods for imposing its authority, such as the manipulation of language and propaganda as they are used to achieve the goal of absolute power for the system. A key parallel between the Party and Stalin's Communism is the use of technology and communication to control the economic, social, and personal aspects of life.

Stalin and Big Brother achieved total control, not only of social and economic aspects of the state, but also of their people's personal lives. They did this first and foremost by constantly observing the people. Both Stalin & "The Party" believed in total control over their "party members". The objectives of the Spies, the Ministry of Truth, Thought Police, and the telescreens in Oceania are mirrored in Stalin's Russia by the actions of the KGB, and all the technologies they used to monitor people. Another way was by altering all forms of media. The Ministry of Truth worked to change the past in all forms of media, making Big Brother appear to have always been right. Stalin had books rewritten, histories revamped, and paintings altered to feature his presence. Although unlimited control could not be achieved in 1930's Russia, Orwell gives Big Brother this power to demonstrate how, if ever attained, it would lead to the complete destruction of individual freedom.

Tangible similarities between the two...
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